Fall 2024 - HSCI 801 G100

Biostatistics for Population Health Practice I (3)

Class Number: 5586

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2024: Tue, 2:30–5:20 p.m.



Basic statistical concepts as applied to diverse problems in epidemiologic and public health research. Emphasizes interpretation and concepts rather than calculations. Basic study designs' statistics. Descriptive and graphical methods, fundamentals of probability distribution, rates and standardization, contingency tables, odds ratios, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, life tables, Linear regression.


Introduction to statistical techniques required in epidemiologic and health care research. Review of descriptive and graphical methods, probability distributions. Rates and standardization.   Study designs in health research. General concepts in estimation and hypothesis testing. Inference for proportions, contingency tables and odds ratios.


Learning objectives:
At the end of this course, students should be able to
-Design and interpret graphical and tabular displays for statistical information.
-Describe basic concepts of probability, random variation and commonly used statistical distributions.
-Distinguish between different measurement scales and the implications for data analysis techniques.
-Distinguish between observational and experimental study designs.
-Apply common statistical methods for inference, including hypothesis testing and estimation.
-Interpret results of statistical analyses found in health research.
-Apply computer software packages to perform common statistical analyses.

Core Competencies:
Biostatistics: Primary
Epidemiology: Reinforcing


  • Assignments 40%
  • Midterms 30%
  • Final exam 30%


There will be four assignments, two midterms and a final exam ·      
-Assignments (40%): Assignments will help students to master the concepts presented in the class and to achieve the learning objectives. Each assignment will be linked to the topics covered in the lectures.  They will often involve reading journal articles, doing data analysis with the computer, and problems taken from the textbook. 
-Midterms (30%): There are two midterm exams, each count for 15%.
-Final Exam (30%)

Assignments must be handed in on time, late assignments will not be marked. You may discuss ways to approach homework with other students or TA’s. However, each homework project must be your own independent work.  Missing exams due to illness: you are required to contact the instructor prior to the exam by e-mail or in person. A medical doctors note specifying the date of your absence is required.


Prerequisite:     An undergraduate course in statistics.



Required: Wayne Daniel and Chad Cross (2018) Biostatistics: A Foundation for Analysis in the Health Sciences, 11th Ed.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.